Currently it's about his one-time association with Uganda pastor Martin Ssempa. Ssempa, in case you didn't know, supports a proposed legislation in Uganda that could make homosexuality punishable by either imprisonment or death. While Warren severed ties with Ssempa in 2007, he has not publicly denounced the bill. Yesterday on Meet the Press, Warren said, "As a pastor, my job is to encourage, to support. I never take sides." He also recently told Newsweek, "The fundamental dignity of every person, our right to be free, and the freedom to make moral choices are gifts endowed by God, our creator. However, it is not my personal calling as a pastor in America to comment or interfere in the political process of other nations."
I agree that Warren's primary job as a pastor is to preach the Word of God, not comment on world politics. When preachers talk too much about politics, they make it sound like God has a specific political agenda [Not to say that I don't believe the Gospel has some social aspects to it, but that's another story]. Plus, Warren did distance himself from Ssempa, claiming that Ssempa's views did not represent either Saddleback Church or Warren's PEACE Plan.
However, this issue goes beyond mere politics. According to Amnesty International, the bill includes provisions that would "forbid the "promotion of homosexuality" – including publishing information or providing funds, premises for activities, or other resources. Conviction could result in up to seven years in prison." Under the same bill, anyone could be imprisoned for not reporting anyone who is gay within 24 hours.
"Under Uganda's existing laws," Amnesty International further reports, "the police arbitrarily arrest and detain men and women accused of engaging in consensual sex with someone of the same sex. Human rights organizations have documented cases of torture or other ill-treatment against lesbians and gay men in detention because of their sexual orientation."
I know Warren publicly supported Proposition 8, but this bill is about more than just whether or not gays should marry. If he publicly condemned the bill, he would be speaking up for basic human rights, which transcends mere politics.
What do you think? Should Warren publicly condemn Uganda's legislation? Or was it wise for him not to comment? Discuss.